Cape Cod at Night: The Liberte Schooner Sunset Sail
I’ve written pretty extensively about why I love to travel, why I love to blog about traveling, and why I love to travel solo. But sometimes, very rarely, all of those things combine. The result is–well, the word I think I’m looking for is magical. And that is exactly what happened last week, when I found myself bobbing along aboard the Liberte Schooner, sipping wine and listening to classical guitar while sailing into a Cape Cod sunset. I dare you to take in a view like the one above and not thank the gods that you have been so blessed. Seriously. There simply are no non-cheesy words for some experiences.
Before you even board the Liberte, you are warmly welcomed by Captain Chris, as he gives one of the most enthusiastic and entertaining safety speeches you’ll ever hear. Once settled on the deck, the crew comes around to take drink orders. After all, if you’re going to pretend to be a sailor, you have to have a drink or three, right? Right.
After the sails are raised and the boat is happily skipping along the waves, Captain Chris gathers everyone for a little orientation talk. You’ll not only learn about the boat upon which you are sailing, but a good deal about the surrounding area as well. As you float between the Cape and the Vineyard, you’ll learn how the land was formed, a brief history of the cape and the islands, and some sailing and navigation terms to boot. I took extensive notes; most normal people might prefer to just sit back and listen whilst enjoying the breeze and a beverage.
After his talk–and a question and answer period to follow–Captain Chris turned on some soft music, the crew continued to take drink orders, and we sailed serenely into the sunset. You can sit back and relax, snap some photos, or cuddle up with a loved one. I was solo and had a great time talking to the crew as well as the other passengers; it was like the most relaxing, scenic, laid-back happy hour I’d ever had the good fortune to stumble upon.
I am so glad that I chose to spend an evening on the Liberte. Sure, there are boat trips galore offered all throughout the Cape and the Islands. But Liberte Schooner has something that none of those other companies have–Captain Chris, ‘First Mate’ Jane, and their daughter Ava. I’m all for supporting family-owned businesses both when traveling and while at home. But I have to say–the Liberte Schooner is possibly the best example I’ve seen of a family working together to provide an authentic and enjoyable experience.
When you sail on the Liberte, you’re not just being welcomed into Chris and Jane’s business. You are being welcomed into their home. Think of it as a very short stay on a floating B&B. Sound unique? It is. And that’s what makes it special. Until two years ago, the Liberte was the family’s only home. In fact, Jane and Chris’s eleven-year-old daughter Ava was raised on board and even ‘boatschooled’ for a year of her life. She runs about the deck like she’s on solid ground, and even gave me a little tutorial about how to take a proper photo of yourself when on a boat. Her advice–make sure you face into the wind. Thanks, Ava!
I honestly loved everything about my two hours on board the Liberte. I love being on the water, the sunset was beautiful, and the music and wine only added to an already relaxing experience. But without a doubt, the best part of all of that was being able to meet and get to know Chris, Jane, and Ava. They could not have been more welcoming, friendly, or enthusiastic. To me, that is what makes–or breaks–an experience. They’ve got a good thing going on the Liberte, and I’m glad I was able to be part of it for one lovely evening.
The Liberte Schooner sails out of Falmouth Harbor seven days per week from July 2nd through Labor Day. The schedule is available HERE; I took the sunset sail but there are daytime options as well. Additionally, if you aren’t visiting the cape and/or are looking to sail outside of the summer season, the Liberte also sails from Annapolis in the off season. See the Liberte website for details.
Disclosure: While I was a guest on board the Liberte, all opinions are, as always, my own. Additionally, I had such a lovely time–and so enjoyed the company of the crew–that I feel the full price of this experience ($35) is a bargain to say the very least, and will happily pay it for myself and anyone I may travel with on my next visit to Cape Cod. The Liberte gets many repeat passengers, and I can understand why.